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New gender study to explore women’s employment in hydropower

  • New gender study to explore women’s employment in hydropower

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International Hydropower Association
Our mission is to advance sustainable hydropower by building and sharing knowledge on its role in renewable energy systems, responsible freshwater management and climate change solutions.

A new World Bank study supported by the International Hydropower Association will look at ways to promote gender equality in the hydropower sector.

The initiative from the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) is being delivered by IHA together with the Global Women's Network for the Energy Transition (GWNET).

The study will look at the gender employment gap in the hydropower sector, which employs around two million people globally. It will seek to determine where women work within companies and identify barriers to entry and advancement, as well as effective strategies to address those barriers.

“The goal of the study is to identify and encourage best practice and practical approaches on gender equality that can be applied by organisations during project design and implementation,” said Bente Brunes, Senior Energy Specialist in the World Bank ESMAP team.

Global gender survey

With an increased focus on expanding global hydropower investment and employment comes the opportunity and need to address barriers and gaps for women in relation to recruitment, retention and promotion.

As part of the study, women and men working in the sector are encouraged to take part in an online survey. The survey targets people working in private companies, public utilities, governmental and non-governmental organisations.

“The World Bank is committed to gender equality, and we know that attracting more women to the most productive sectors such as hydropower and the STEM field propels poverty reduction. Therefore this study will help to enhance the labour force participation rates of women in the sector,” added Nathyeli Acuna, World Bank ESMAP Gender Specialist.

The study will focus on developing countries and involve discussions with focus groups. The results will be reported in mid-2022 and will include recommended actions and guidance for improving gender equality in the sector.  

Better data, information and knowledge

“IHA is pleased to be contributing to the World Bank’s efforts to close the gender gaps between women and men working in hydropower. This will inform and drive forward thinking on how to promote gender diversity within the sector,” said Cristina Diez Santos, Senior Hydropower Sector Analyst at IHA.

Christine Lins, Executive Director at GWNET said: “GWNET is pleased to be working with IHA to help improve employment opportunities for women in the hydropower sector through better data, information and knowledge. This is a meaningful step forwards for the sector.”

In addition to the sector survey, those considering a career in hydropower are encouraged to a complete a dedicated survey for students and academics.

For further information about the study and to participate in focus groups, please contact IHA Analyst Acile Hammoud at

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